Exmouth’s jobless must still trek to Exeter as job centre chiefs refuse to budge

06:55 24 March 2014

Every fortnight Exmouth

Every fortnight Exmouth's job seekers have to make a 23-mile round trek to sign on at the Exeter job centre. They receive no reimbursement for their travel costs. Photo: Paul Strange.

Archant

EXMOUTH’s jobless, lone parents and those too ill to work must continue the long trek in to Exeter’s job centre.

That’s the blunt message from the Department for Work and Pensions, which says it has ‘no intention’ of reintroducing a job centre into Exmouth.

And the decision has far wider implications.

Soon those currently claiming working tax credit will also have to make the 23-mile round trip to attend Exeter’s job centre, possibly on a regular basis.

That’s because the new universal credit – combining in-work and out-of-work benefits – will require all claimants to accept a ‘claimant commitment’, setting out their responsibilities.

The new document will be drawn up during an interview with a ‘work coach’ at a ‘local’ job centre. Claimants may also be expected to attend regular interviews to ‘discuss’ their progress.

Currently being trialled in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, universal credit will be rolled out across the UK by 2017.

“Without a doubt, visits to Exeter’s job centre will increase once the universal credit is introduced,” said Sarah King, project coordinator for Exmouth’s Glenorchy Work Club.

“Those claiming employment and support allowance [ESA] and lone parents who have children under five are already attending Exeter job centre for mandatory interviews.

“Also you’re going to get people currently on working tax credit going to universal credit. If they’re not earning enough, they are going to have to go in as well to show that they are looking for more hours of work. So there’s going to be more people going in to Exeter’s job centre.”

“The numbers travelling in to Exeter could be huge and it may prove difficult for the job centre to provide quality support to all those accessing its services,” said Helen Burgess, manager of Exmouth’s Open Door Centre, an umbrella organisation working with local churches.

“Not only that, but the challenges that are currently being faced in terms of a long and expensive journey to Exeter job centre would be arguably even greater.

“Lone parents would have to find childcare while they attend appointments, those who are too ill to work may well be too ill to make journeys in to Exeter and those who are claiming working tax credits will have to take time off work, which may not be practical.

“This presents an even stronger argument to provide a job centre satellite in Exmouth. It seems many more people will be affected within the next few years, so the sooner we have a job centre in Exmouth, the better, as far as I can see.”

However the DWP says it won’t reverse its decision to close Exmouth’s job centre because the “rationale” behind the 2008 closure “has not changed”.

In addition, DWP says that access to the job centre services via computer or phone has increased “considerably”, adding “further weight to the original rationale”.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Kaz Lobendhan of the south devon chilli farm with staff at Darts Farm about to take the chilli challenge. Ref ext 2706-34-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

People visiting a Topsham-based farm shop were being asked to test their taste buds as part of a chilli tasting test.

Read more
Dame Hilary Mantel: 'As I work my way through the third book it often feels as exciting as the first day I started'

World-renowned author Dame Hilary Mantel has spoken of her love for Budleigh Salterton in an exclusive interview with Devon Life magazine.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:32

The most common tactic fraudsters used last year to try to con Devon residents’ out of cash was to offer a ‘free’ trial.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Janice is pictured with Managing Partner, Neil Curtis left and Exmouth Partner Ruskin Wilson after receiving her bouquet of flowers and card.

An accountant is celebrating her 30th anniversary with an Exmouth firm.

Read more
Fri, 16:36
Harry Wilkes celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at Amberwood Nursing Home on Exeter Road this week. Harry is pictured enjoying his day with his family. Ref exe 8446-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

At least 40 friends and three generations of family turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Exmouth’s newest centenarian, Harry Wilkes.

Read more
Fri, 16:30
Yvonne Wardrop in the glider she flew in for her 90th birthday present.

An Exmouth great-grandmother has enjoyed a 90th birthday celebration with a difference – taking to the skies in a glider.

Read more
Fri, 16:29
Founder of Exmouth Zop passes away

Trudy Smith, who died earlier this month, aged 85, had a truly remarkable life.

Read more
Fri, 14:42
The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5777-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Pictues:

Read more
Fri, 06:56
Littleham's Brianna Evans, currently Miss Devon is preparing for the Miss England competition. Ref exe 5655-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham teenager, whose hopes of becoming Miss England were dashed by a health scare, has been given automatic entry into next year’s contest.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder